… Wombles are shite.
Sammy Moore is not very bright.
Porter’s a virgin, and acts like a child.
Harry Pell is too gentle and mild.
Midson set for release
St Luce avoids Welsh police.
OK then, you obvious Irvine Berlin disciples, YOU write alternative lyrics when you’re struggling to open a writeup.
Got to be honest, things have been a bit busy here at SW19 Towers, which is why updates have been even more sporadic than usual. As it will be for everyone at AFCW.
We’ve only played once since Brizzle Rovers, and that wasn’t a particularly good one at that. So when we face the usual hangover on Boxing Day and line up against Southend, you can’t say we won’t have had much rest.
Actually, it would be very nice – no, very nice – if we could sodding well do something over Xmas that’s positive. While this time of year was in the WFC era the period we started to get going, the AFCW era (at least since we turned pro) has made the yuletide even more miserable.
Christ, it makes spending it with your editor almost look bright and sunny.
Last year, we were spared Boxing Day but there was the Oxford game where I think the patience finally snapped with most of that squad. Though ironically, we then went to Torquay and won…
The year before that, we lost 2-0 to the Us (I really hate them), in a performance that once again made the penny drop. Although we then also stunk the joint out against Southend* and Swindon.
* – your editor was at Aldershot v Plymouth that day in an early kickoff, and tried to listen to WDON on the way back, and I remember the sheer despondency in the tone of their collective voices. It was probably even worse than half the shit we had to put up with last season, which may make NA’s current rebuilding job all the more remarkable.
We did manage to win both games over yuletide in the previous season, but that was in non-league football so doesn’t count.
So like a decent cup run, putting in decent performances and results at this time of year is pretty illusive. And something that ends up convincing you doesn’t actually exist.
Unfortunately, you suspect it won’t be too much better this time round, either. At least we’re spared Oxford depressing our holiday season this year, because the fixture computer was kind enough to put the usual humiliation to them back to October.
While we don’t need to totally tear everything down in January 2014, there does feel a vibe that we’ll just have to get through the 2/3 games until we can give a fresh injection into the squad.
Our form hasn’t been good for a good while, to be honest. We had a good November, results wise, but apart from Pompey there was always something lacking in those fixtures.
Which is why I was quite glad that Newport got called off. True, if you were on your way there you won’t entirely agree with those sentiments (especially if you then had to stay in South Wales until your designated train back), but it may not have been the worst postponement to suffer.
We would have probably lost that, and I’d rather have Benno playing than not. At the time of writing, they haven’t announced when the rearranged fixture will be, but you would expect a bit more strengthening to have taken place by then. And we might have even figured out who’s going to be up front…
Which leads us on to the Michael Smith situation. Is it me or is it a bit messy? All we know is that he returns to the Valley on the 4th January (as does Mo to Port Vale, though we won’t miss him nearly so much).
He’ll go, then he might come back. Unless they sell him to us, or unless a League One club comes in for him. Or something. Personally, I hope we’re lining up either another loanee or even better about to purchase somebody else as soon as we can and not have to rely on him possibly returning.
As recent transfer windows have proven, there are enough Michael Smiths around for us not to be totally panicky that we’ll only have Charlie Sheringham up front for the rest of the campaign. Whoever we bring in, chances are we won’t have ever heard of them.
And they’ll be as good if not as what we have had.
Those predicting/hoping that Akinfenwa will bring his Beast Mode On bollocks to KM may be disappointed if the Gillingham injury list doesn’t clear up. Though one suspects even now we dodged a bullet with him.
So it’s best not to run around in a panic when Smith returns to Charlton. Remember that when were staring into the abyss at the beginning of this year, we still managed to get Gary Alexander and Brennan Dickenson, so we should be more attractive to players and their agents this time around.
We’ve learnt enough about this particular squad by now, and more importantly so has NA. As said recently on SW19, some players are still playing for their futures past January, and that clock is ticking ever closer…